President Barack Obama says taxpayers can no longer be on the hook for bad decisions by mortgage lenders. Saying that it's time to overhaul the mortgage finance system to help more Americans afford homes with less risk to the government, the president proposes to shutter government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and give private capital a bigger role in mortgage lending.
The U.S. government filed two civil lawsuits against Bank of America for what the Justice Department and securities regulators said was a fraud on investors involving $850 million of residential mortgage-backed securities. The Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed the parallel suits in U.S. District Court in Charlotte.
Rising tax receipts are shrinking the federal deficit, and that will shape the budget debate when Congress returns from vacation next month. The big question for lawmakers: Should they renew, end or modify the tens of billions of dollars in "sequester" cuts in government spending that took effect earlier this year?